On a roll in Glenwood Springs
Special to the Post Independent
As the winter snows relinquish their hold on the peaks throughout the Roaring Fork Valley, and a sea of green invades the vacated slopes, bicycle season is here once again.
Spring is a wonderful time to dust off your two-wheeled transit and explore the Roaring Fork Valley. Whether looking for exercise, escape, adventure or just a fun family outing, the Roaring Fork Valley offers multitudes of trails for every level of enthusiast.
Bicycling is a terrific low impact (most of the time) way to shed a few pounds and have fun doing it. If the end of ski season leaves you feeling depressed, bicycling may just be the way to keep those endorphins flowing and muscles toned until November rolls back around.
There are plenty of bicycle shops in the area that will be happy to help tune up the old cruiser, or replace those tires you shredded while cliff jumping. If new gear is in order, there’s a bike for every application these days. From ultra-lightweight race-bred street machines to full-suspension off-road models that make even the bumpiest trails … er … less bumpy. And yes, you can still find a bike with only one gear and a pedal brake.
Of course, you may want to load up on accessories as well. Everything from hydration packs to trip computers, as well as all the safety gear, can be found at any of the bike shops in the valley. My 15-year-old son can attest to the absolute need for a helmet, as he escaped from a crash with only a broken clavicle, a few bruises, and yes, one very smashed helmet.
Once you have the gear and are ready to go, it’s time to pick a trail. Here are some of the local favorites. If you are looking for an easy paved trail with great scenery, then the Glenwood Canyon Bike Path is ideal. Starting at the Vapor Caves and winding East toward Dotsero, the trail is sixteen miles of beautiful canyon scenery. It’s a great place to take the family, or get tuned up for some more challenging rides. If 32 miles round trip sounds like a bit much, there are a number of bike shops that will give you a lift to the far end so you can enjoy a leisurely ride back to town. Some of these same shops will rent a bike and safety gear to you if you have the need.
For those in good shape and looking for a more challenging escape, a trip up to Hanging Lake will add a nice hike to your bike trip, along with incredible scenery including waterfalls and canyon cliffs.
If that all sounds like a bit much and sticking around town is your game, then the Glenwood River trail may be your bag. This trail is approximately six miles long and winds its way along the Roaring Fork and Colorado rivers from South Glenwood to Two Rivers Park. It’s also a great way to attend the multitudes of events that occur at Two Rivers throughout the summer.
And, of course, getting off the pavement is always an option. The infamous Boy Scout Trail, once used by the Ute Indians, is accessed via Red Canyon Road, and runs along the top of the south side of Glenwood Canyon. The trail terminates close to downtown Glenwood and within close proximity to any number of establishments that offer cool refreshments to the weary biker. Keep in mind, this trail is not for the inexperienced rider, with a steep final segment.
These are just a few of the many trails that can be found throughout the Roaring Fork Valley. For a more detailed list and assessment of trails, visit some of the local bike shops. Remember, the trails are only as good as the people who use them. Pack out litter, stay on the trails and be courteous to the other users.
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